Both teams gathered in the infield for a prayer circle after Tuesday’s game.
Aurora Central Catholic won its fifth straight game on Tuesday, but it didn’t come easy.
Gabi Alfaro had three hits and scored four runs and Mary Kate Gosselin had three hits, including a home run, and drove in six runs as the Chargers overcame a 7-0 deficit to defeat Aurora Christian 13-9.
“We really, really weren’t prepared to play. I kept telling them it was a long game, and that turned out to be the case,” said Aurora Central coach Jim Hallahan. “We came back because of timely hitting by the middle of our order, and the bottom of the order got on base for them.”
Aurora Central committed four errors and allowed six unearned runs in the first two innings as they fell into an early 7-0 hole.
The Chargers chipped away at the Eagles’ lead, scoring three runs in the third inning and two in the fourth before finally taking the lead during a five-run sixth inning.
In the sixth, Gosselin drove in Alfaro with a single to center field to tie the game at 7-7. Dani Blake then gave the Chargers an 8-7 lead with an RBI single to right field.
Aurora Central went up 10-7 later in the inning after Gosselin scored on a passed ball and Mary Wileman added an RBI single.
The Eagles responded in their half of the sixth, cutting the deficit to 10-9 after an RBI ground out by Jordan Pittman and a run-scoring single by Sara Morris.
In the seventh, Gosselin capped off her stellar day at the plate with a three-run, inside-the-park homer to give the Chargers a 13-9 lead.
“I’m a power hitter sometimes but it’s usually just doubles or triples,” said Gosselin, who hit her first home run of the year on Tuesday. “To reach home was really exciting, especially to have my team there at home plate to support me.”
Aurora Central (12-10, 5-5) pitcher Sarah Ryan, who struck out seven in 5 and 2/3 innings of relief, retired the Eagles in order in the seventh to clinch the Chargers’ victory.
Alderman went 2-for-3 with two singles and two runs scored, while Blake went 2-for-4 with two singles, one run score and one RBI.
The Eagles had nine hits, all singles. Pittman, Marissa Wilger and Liz Smith each had two hits for Aurora Christian (5-15, 1-7), which lost its ninth straight game.
Coach Rich Hazlett says his team just has to improve its fundamentals.
“We’ve just got to continue to work on the basics,” said Hazlett. “Catching, throwing, hitting. If we can get those things under control, we’ll do well. We’ll hopefully win some games.”
I wrote this story for the Chicago Sun-Times, Aurora Beacon and yourseason.com. It appears here.
Aurora Central hanging out in the first base dugout early in Tuesday’s game.